Magical thinking

One of my first jobs at the BBC was scheduling the use of video and film equipment. We had A3 planning sheets, coloured pencils, a ruler, and an eraser. Resources were arranged vertically down the side and time slots horizontally across the top. You could visually take in lots of information at a glance and make changes in an instant.

And then the system was computerised! We only had a partial view of the information at any one time, we had to remember what it was we were changing and what we were changing it to, and changes were a complex multi step process. We were told this was progress!

Many moons ago I wrote "Is it unfair to characterise the IT industry as a bunch of dodgy characters in cheap suits selling wish fulfilment to out of their depth executives ". Sadly not much has changed.

The IT industry still resorts to the sort of magical thinking peddled by religions of various flavours for millennia. "Perform these rituals, obey these rules, give your power to our priests, and we will take your pain away and deliver a state of bliss/enlightenment/rapture."

Don't fall for magical thinking. Think for yourself, be skeptical, choose your tools and methods very carefully, and avoid priesthoods of any flavour.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s